wpa2dc2a05_1b.jpg
wp10e882e1_1b.jpg

wp4cbbae34_1b.jpg

wp6a2caba9_1b.jpg

wp2e70c2b7_1b.jpg

wp734cdfa0_1b.jpg

wpa8645f4c_1b.jpg

wp2472ab01_1b.jpg

wpb0cd20ff_1b.jpg

wp41dedfb3_1b.jpg

wp9c6d4550_1b.jpg

wpd27e237c_1b.jpg

wp7a7cd9ea_1b.jpg

wp0df9352b_1b.jpg

wp2a746d5f_1b.jpg

wp980c1f4b_1b.jpg

wp697ad506_1b.jpg

wpd7c16071_1b.jpg

wp6e36fd16_1b.jpg

wpab7d9e93_1b.jpg

wpef9a6f9c_1b.jpg

wpc7853118_1b.jpg

wp5f59d318_1b.jpg

wp2e5af889_1b.jpg

wpb0331890_1b.jpg

wp819bef8a_1b.jpg

wpa84e253e_1b.jpg

LITERARY
FOCHRIW
wp16bf17e3_1b.jpg
wp8f749044_1b.jpg
wp52b76eb4_1b.jpg
wp6d33787d_1b.jpg
Whereas it cannot be said that Fochriw ranks high in literary ability I have included the era of “Penny Readings”, examples of writings about Fochriw and items, such as poems, by local inhabitants.

PENNY READINGS

The era of Penny Readings had its birth in Fochriw at the National School when the first of a series of such meetings was held each Thursday, presided over by the Reverend T L Davies. Penny Readings had developed in the area through the efforts of Canon William Evans, the very popular incumbent of St David's Church, Rhymney, whose enthusiasm and foresight were to lead to the triangle of Rhymney, Fochriw and Pontlottyn.

In their original form Penny Readings were meant to attract people away from the evils of the public houses by introducing them to an alternative form of entertainment which, it was hoped would whet their appetites and draw them to a chapel environment.

Held in public houses, earlier readings were often comical affairs with a competitive go-as-you-please atmosphere and very often developing into farcical proportions. Emphasis was later placed on culture, poetry, musical presentation and hymn singing and this was to lead to centres of cultural arts and learning being established away from the public house atmosphere.

By the latter half of the 1800's Penny Readings had become synonymous with the Eisteddfod Fach, the small eisteddfod, competitive and with an educational content that continued to enhance the outlook of its followers.

Penny Readings in Fochriw were strictly conducted in the Welsh language for many years after other villages had begun to include English additions to their agenda. So widespread had the readings become in the neighbourhood that it became possible for people to attend one every evening of the week, if they so wished, by short visits to Rhymney, Pontlottyn and Fochriw.

Readings, in turn, provided schooling experience for those who were later to find fame in literary and musical fields.

The well-known Rhymney poet, Idris Davies, who, in 1953, died at the age of 48 of cancer wrote the following poem about Fochriw.